Martinsville, Va. — The Harvest Foundation Board of Directors is under new leadership, electing Henry County resident Kelvin Perry as chairman. He is the first African American to serve in this role at the foundation.
“It is a great honor to be a part of the Harvest Foundation family and to take on this role,” Perry said. “There’s a little weight on the shoulders because I realize the commitment necessary to do this job well and to make sure that we continue to do what is needed to move Martinsville-Henry County forward. I’m blessed to have the support of an amazing staff and fellow board members who have the biggest hearts and best intentions when it comes to our community.”
Perry said Harvest is in a unique position to support impactful community conversations around diversity, inclusion, and equity. But in order to do that, Perry said “we have to live by what we preach. Having a staff and board that truly is representative of our community is a great start. I want residents to feel like they have a voice and a seat at the table, and know that we want to see our community strive for excellence at all levels. Everyone deserves an opportunity to succeed.”
Henry County resident John “Jeb” Bassett and Martinsville resident John Korff join the board of directors this year.
Bassett is a lifelong resident of Henry County and said being considered to serve on the board of directors is an honor.
“I have always admired the discipline of the operations of the Harvest Foundation,” he said. “I have had the utmost respect for the Harvest Foundation board members giving their time and talent so freely.”
Previously, Bassett worked with The Harvest Foundation as co-chair of the Smith River Small Towns Collaborative, creating Smith River’s 15 Magical Miles and revitalizing the Bassett and Fieldale communities. He championed the renovation of the Bassett Train Station Event Center and worked closely to renovate the space now home to the Railway Café in Bassett.
Korff said the Harvest Foundation has a positive reputation for giving back to the community and that he was flattered the board felt he had something to bring to the organization.
“There are many opportunities to improve our community through the work of The Harvest Foundation, and I think my experience leading a business, working with diverse groups of people, and building relationships will help support that work,” he said.
Korff joined Virginia Mirror Company and Virginia Glass Products as its chief operating officer in 2009 and now serves as president and CEO. He said Virginia Glass & Mirror Chairperson Chris Beeler, who served as chairman of The Harvest Foundation Board of Directors from 2015-2016, shared his experiences and more about the foundation’s work in Martinsville-Henry County.